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MPA Students Award $4,000 to Local Mural Project  

mpa students
MPA students at First Baptist Church in Newport

May 8, 2019— Northern Kentucky University students awarded $4,000 to a Newport mural project.

Students from NKU worked with the Westside Citizens Coalition in Newport to develop ideas for “creative placemaking” projects. The projects were presented at the First Baptist Church, with residents selecting one of the murals for the $4,000 grant.

The mural will be installed on Galaxie’s Skateshop’s new building at 121 West 10th Street. The students developed these projects as an assignment in their Planning and Community Development class, which is part of NKU’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program.


Creative placemaking uses arts and cultural activities to shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, city or region—according to the National Endowment for the Arts. The process typically involves various partners from the government, nonprofit and private sectors.

"Working with the NKU MPA program allowed us as a neighborhood not only to identify possible community projects but also to create a path that will bring us together in making those projects become a reality,” said Josh Tuning, executive director of ReNewport. “We were able to share our neighborhood for a learning experience with students and, in return, they were able to teach us and expand our vision of our neighborhood.”

The Planning and Community Development class is one of 18 courses this semester participating in NKU’s Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project, which helps students learn first-hand about charitable giving and nonprofits. The $4,000 grant in this class was funded by ArtsWave and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

The NKU MPA program prepares people for rewarding public-service careers in government, nonprofit and related organizations. For more information, please contact MPA Director Julie Olberding or visit

About NKU: Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit